Calgary

Calgary moves to cut cost of business licenses

Calgary business owners could see some extra change in their pocket should new changes be passed by council later this month.

Council committee also approved a number of other measures intended to help small businesses

A council committee approved cutting the cost of a business license by 10 per cent Wednesday, a move that will cost the city $1 million per year. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

Calgary business owners could see some extra change in their pocket should new changes be passed by council later this month.

A council committee approved a 10 per cent cut in business license fees Wednesday, part of a stated goal to make operating a business in Calgary cheaper and easier.

Coun. Ward Sutherland said the cut was part of a number of business efficiency changes that emerged out of consultation with the business community.

"We're meeting with industries, different industries one at a time, and going through all the processes and all the challenges they have dealing with the city in great detail," he said. "Then we come up with a summary report and those departments have to come up with the solutions and a timeline."

With a plan in place, Sutherland said city officials will later meet with industry officials to discuss whether changes were implemented successfully.

The measures are expected to cost the city about $1 million in revenue each year, but Sutherland said the city will absorb those costs through the various departments involved.

"The department figured out what they could afford without causing any issues and still deliver the service — that's why it's 10 per cent," he said. "So we're able to tighten up and reduce it and do cost savings for the taxpayer — business and non-payer — and also help out businesses at the same time."

The city also intends to drop requirements for multiple inspections of sites and remove the requirement for police information checks for certain low-risk businesses.

The changes will go to city council for discussion later this month.

With files from Scott Dippel

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